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Caramel Apple Mead

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summersolstice

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This has proven to be a very popular mead on another forum I frequent.

Caramel Apple Mead


4 Gallons apple juice
2 lbs DME
3 lbs 60L Crystal malt
7 lbs Orange blossom honey
2 lbs clover honey
2 lbs buckwheat honey

Lalvin K1v1116

Original Gravity: 1.120
Final Gravity: 1.010

2 vanilla beans

Steep grains in 1.5 gallons of apple juice at 155F for 45 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the DME and honey. Rinse grain sack with 1/2 gallon apple juice. Add the remainder of the apple juice. Aerate by vigorous stirring for at least five minutes. Aerate some more. I now use oxygen with a diffuser stone to aerate (better). Pitch yeast starter (hydrated with Go Ferm per container instructions) directly into the primary (plastic pail fitted with an air lock).

At about 1.075 add 5g Fermaid K
At about 1.035 add 5g Fermaid K
(Dissolve your nutrients in water before adding them to your must. This helps to minimize foam.)

Within about two weeks this should ferment out to 1.012 or so. Rack to secondary and add vanilla beans. Allow to remain in the secondary for about a month.

Rack again onto 1 lb of buckwheat honey and 1/4t potassium metabisuphite or 5 campden tabs and 2 1/2t potassium sorbate to stabilize. Add Super Kleer to clarify. Bulk age for six months to a year before bottling.

I adapted this recipe from one I saw on gotmead.com and it tastes just like caramel apples. It's a medium sweet mead that's very drinkable. At about 13.75% alcohol and no alcohol bite one should exercise caution since it goes down so smoothly.
 

TheTooth

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Interesting... I'm going to have to give that a go. Thanks for the post.
 

summersolstice

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This is a straight up mead and it really does taste like liquid caramel apples. It's not the easiest mead to make but the effort's worth it.
 

Wade E

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Love that post RDP! I just added this recipe to my computer just in case.
 

Mud

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hhmmm....Is this a cyser wrapped in a braggot, or a braggot wrapped in a cyser. Truely a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Or is it more like a TurDuken? A mead stuffed in a beer, stuffed in a cider? :dg
TurDuckEn. :)

Apple juice makes it a cyser. Malt makes it a braggot...Whatever it is, it sounds interesting.
 

blairholand

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Sonnds Good

I have never made a mead is there anything harder about them than making wine? I am considering trying this recipe.
 

mphymel

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summersolstice,
Do I understand that you add all but 1 lb of buckwheat honey with the DME, reserving the 1 lb for addition prior to aging?

Or, will we be adding all 11 lbs of honey with the DME, and sweetening later with an additional 1 lb, for a total of 12 lbs for the entire recipe?

This will be my first attempt at any kind of fermenting, so I may be asking questions obvious to others with experience, you patience is appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark
 

mphymel

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I found out on another forum that you do withhold the 1 lb of BW honey for sweetening. This means that the initial honey charge will be 10 lbs, 7, 2 and 1.

I made up a batch this evening. First time ever trying any fermenting ever.

Here are some observations I thought I would post for any other 1st timers:

OK, just a few notes for anyone as green as I am:

1. Get about an extra half gallon of apple juice. The grains will absorb about that much.

2. Don't think, "hmm, why don't I add the DME to the 150°F juice to make it dissolve quicker? It will turn into silly putty the instant it hits the hot liquid, then you will have to take a bottle of juice and heat it until it melts, then cool it so your must is not too warm. Don't ask how I know this.

3. If you are using raw honey, be prepared to melt down any crystallized honey that may be present. Because of this, I ended up sanitizing a gallon ziploc bag and filling it with ice to bring the temperature down prior to pitching.

4. Have a quantity of sterile water available to fix your original gravity. To get my gravity right, I added an extra half gallon of juice, which brought me from 1.14 to 1.13 and right at 5 gallons total volume, then added ~10 oz of water to get me to 1.12. I, being the noob that I am, am trying to stick as close to the recipe as possible.

Question:
Does anyone have any estimate as to when I should check the gravity again, in order to add the 5 grams of Fermaid K. Is this expected to happen in matter of hours, days, or weeks?

Thanks for any advice offered.
Mark
 

mphymel

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OK, checked my gravity, I am at 1.07, so I added my 1st nutrient shot, I am using WLN1000 from White labs. Also, my yeast was Wyeast 4021.

I forgot to dissolve this in liquid, so I did get foaming.
 

the_rayway

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Question from another noob: I'm a Celiac, so is there anything else I could use instead of the malts/grains to get that caramel flavour? The recipe sounds amazing - but can it be tweaked for people like me?
 

tonyandkory

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I would say try an cycer and use some real caramel in place of some sugars... or you could put some honey in a pan and try caramelizing it.

Try
4 gallons apple juice
11 pounds of honey (whatever kind) maybe follow above types
2 pounds caramel

you can melt the caramel in a little of the apple juice in a double boiler once it starts to melt slowly add more apple juice stir a lot.

2 vanilla beans
 
Last edited:

the_rayway

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I would say try an cycer and use some real caramel in place of some sugars... or you could put some honey in a pan and try caramelizing it.

Try
4 gallons apple juice
11 pounds of honey (whatever kind) maybe follow above types
2 pounds caramel

you can melt the caramel in a little of the apple juice in a double boiler once it starts to melt slowly add more apple juice stir a lot.

2 vanilla beans

Thanks for this! I've got an Apple Tatin Port aging, which tastes amazing already and would like to get some of those flavours into a regular wine. I think this will be a fantastic recipe to try with your edits :try Win!
 

the_rayway

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So I have a crab apple caramel vanilla on the go and it's turning out amazing so far! Instead of melting caramels as tonyandkory suggested (to stay away from the milk ingredients), I caramelized white sugar, cooled it into hard candy, then tossed it into the carboy with the vanilla beans. It dissolved over the course of a couple of weeks, and the flavour is sooo good!

Thanks so much for this thread!
 
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